Letters to the editor: Ban on Chinese slave labour products ‘a start’

© Provided by National Post Chinese and Canadian flags are displayed along with clothing outside a Toronto store in a file photo from Oct. 22, 2021. A Conservative Senator says that Canada is “subsidizing” the cultural genocide of the Uyghur people by allowing the import of goods made with slave labour.

Funding China’s concentration camps

Re: Conservative bill aims to stop ‘subsidizing a genocide’ in China, Adam Zivo, Nov. 17

Sen. Leo Housakos’s bill to ban the importation of goods produced by slave labour in China is a necessary start. All trade with China finances its war machine and its concentration camps.

At a stroke of the pen it could commandeer some 12 per cent of the Canada Pension Plan invested there. Given what happened to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the plan’s investment managers can’t even count on returning after visiting the facilities we’ve invested in.

Colin Alexander, Ottawa

Transit services lacking across Canada

Re: Steven Guilbeault’s whistle-stop ‘climate’ train tour is a Liberal fantasy, Chris Selley, Nov. 17

Chris Selley suggests that Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault chose the bus as an environmentally responsible way to travel across Canada. Sadly, this would not actually be possible. After a brief respite with a once-a-week service last year, bus services between Winnipeg and Regina are once again suspended, with no set date for their return. Don’t you just love deregulation? This also means passengers and package services from as far afield as Newfoundland and the Yukon are out of options because a vital link across Canada has been severed.

Meanwhile, the cuts to VIA Rail services that also make it impossible for the minister to reach major cities like Regina and Calgary by train were partly inspired by lobbying from those who see bus and rail as competing modes. This is wrong-headed and it plainly isn’t working. Both could thrive as part of an integrated coast-to-coast network to serve all Canadians, with a bit of federal leadership to co-ordinate connections and protect services to remote communities.

Terence Johnson, President, Transport Action Canada

Dealing with the American ‘bully’

Re: Why the U.S. doesn’t take us seriously, John Ivison, Nov. 18

If/when the U.S. government implements its intended buy-American policy on U.S.-built electric car purchases, Canada (perhaps with Mexico’s accompaniment) should respond in some self-compensatory manner involving NAFTA’s anti-protectionist stipulations.

Republican and Democratic party administrations alike have long habitually sided with U.S.-based business interests when dealing with Canada. We have not only sustained decades of dairy-product harassment; similarly, consecutive U.S. presidencies have placed tariffs on imports of our softwood lumber, regardless of consistent independent (including international) trade-board rulings in Canada’s favour on this matter.

Maybe our great neighbour to the south always sticks it to Canada, however unjustly, if only because it has formidable weight and we have comparably little. And certain American big business interests insist upon it until Canada capitulates. Perhaps we are expected to simply get used to it, somewhat like the child stuck with the school bully whose concept of his/her fair share will always be three-quarters of the pie.

​Frank Sterle Jr., White Ro​ck, B.C.

Substitute ‘anti-Jewish racism’ for the term anti-Semitism

Re: If schools are serious about inclusivity, they must take a firm stand against anti-Semitism, Avi Benlolo, Nov. 19

Kudos, once more, to Avi Benlolo for pointing out the obvious.

The fact, however, that it needs to be pointed out, gives us an idea as to where the problem may lie. It seems that the Toronto District School Board is confused about the meaning of the word … whether accidentally or deliberately.

In his recent book, Jews Don’t Count, British comedian-turned author David Baddiel, (born Jewish but an avowed atheist), suggests that by using the term “anti-Semite” we are giving the haters a get-out-of-jail-free card. It is opening things up for a debate about semantics.

What we should be doing is substituting “anti-Jewish racism” for the term anti-Semitism. The world seems to understands about racism in its various forms, whereas it is prepared to give anti-Semitism either a pass or an argument because, after all, “Jews don’t count.”

Jonathan A. Isserlin, Ottawa

‘We are still going to the Beijing Winter Games?’

Re: As Beijing Olympics loom, Peng Shuai threatens to blow up China’s sports diplomacy, Scott Stinson, Nov. 19

Over the past close to two years we have seen the world’s largest rogue state responsible for the most dangerous pandemic since the Spanish Flu, the horrendous treatment of its Uyghur citizens, the false imprisonment of two Canadians in their gulags and now a tennis star disappears for more than two weeks after she spoke out about being sexually harassed by a high-ranking Chinese government official. Yet we are still going to attend their Winter Games?

Stephen Flanagan, Ottawa

‘China is realizing the potential for this new vehicle of power’

Re: For China, technological superiority is about power and control, Samantha Hoffman, Nov. 19

Very obviously China will use technology to increase its “power and control,” both at home and abroad.

A feature of technology is its ability to store massive amounts of information, and we are reaching the stage when we rely on the state to do our thinking for us — to the point that the state can “know” more about us as individuals, than we know about ourselves. Certainly, China is realizing the potential for this new vehicle of extensive power, but the control element is also emerging in the West.

Ideology is more fiercely fought over in the U.S. than Canada, and some media companies are not just reporting the facts, but seeking frantically to influence elections. Whereas in the past there has been a tradition of “truth seeking,” in the West, this now gives way to anything that anybody might wish for — which the new technology is only eager to provide.

When the personal point of view is lost, so also sanity.

Gordon Watson, Rocky Mountain House, Alta.